Category Archives: top 5

Saturday Top 5: Places I would like to visit

Marcela and I will be heading for a trip to the Caribbean in a little more than 24 hours. One of the destinations we’ve wanted to visit on our honeymoon but were unable to schedule was Dunn’s River Falls at Ocho Rios, Jamaica where cold fresh water falls through 600 feet of rocks into the salty warm Caribbean Sea. We’ll be able to cross that one off our list. But here are the top 5 overall places I’d like to visit.

#5. African Safari Tanzania or Botswana – I’d love to do a big game hunt, but I don’t think Marcela would approve.  So these are two of the best locations to view a lion, leopard, elephant, cape buffalo, and rhinoceros in the wild.

#4. Galapagos Islands – I spent the Summer of 1997 in Quito, Ecuador, but I was not able to visit the Galapagos Islands.  Along with the Amazon basin, it’s one of the places I would love to see.

#3. Rome – There is so much history and art in Rome.  Marcela visited Rome and Venice before we were married and said that it’s at the top of her list (along with France and Spain) to see again.

#2. Yellowstone National Park – Right here in the good old USA this National Park is beautiful, unspoiled, and huge.  Along with Yellowstone, I’d also like to see Yosemite and make a swing through the rockies.

#1. Australia’s Great Barrier Reef – I would love to visit the outback and see the unique dessert terain, but more than anything I’d love to see the Great Barrier Reef.  Snorkeling and SCUBA are two of my favorite hobbies, and this is one of the world’s top destinations.  This huge coral barrier reef is so larg that it’s easily visible from space.

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Saturday Top 5: Nuts

These are the five best nuts, whether in a mix or all by itself.

#5. Pine Nuts – I am not sure if these actually qualify as a nut, but if they don’t then “OH WELL”. They are very expensive, but worth the money. They’re very high in oils, so toasting them brings out the flavor. This is also the magical ingredient in pesto. Try toasting pine nuts and mixing it with fresh spinach, Balsalmic vinegar, and sea salt in a pan until the spinach wilts. Yum!

#4. Cashew – In my opinion, these are best enjoyed roasted with salt and no other flavors or nuts. They’re a little high in carbs, but they’re rich and tasty. Unfortunately, I can’t stop at one.

#3. Almonds – I prefer these smoked when I am eating them as a snack. Sliced and toasted, they also make a great topping for most deserts. They’re perfect for mixed nuts and also as a crust for fish.

#2. Pistachio – My dad introduced me to these flavorful treats when I was a kid. He would go to the mall while Trav and I would run around and my mom would shop and he’d crack the shells one at a time. That’s the way they are best enjoyed, salted and roasted still in the shell, one at a time. One kernel has tons of flavor! It makes an excellent flavor of ice cream as well. The problem is that they’re a little pricey and higher in carbs than most nuts.

#1. Pecan – They’re high in protein and fat, low in carbohydrates, versatile, and extremely delicious. I love them roasted, salty, sweet, right out of the shell, in candy, or (my favorite) made into a pie! New Mexico is the pecan center of the universe, but they’re also grown all over the south.

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Saturday Top 5: Songs from Anthems for a Broken World

To be clear, I like every single song by The Saturn Project on their new album, Anthems for a Broken World. But this top 5 list will give you the songs that receive the most play in my mp3 player and in my truck’s stereo.

Honorable Mention:

Beautiful Stranger – This is a seriously smooth song. It’s a very chilled and groovy tune with soul.

And now, the list…

#5 Dynamite – It’s the first song on the album and like the rest of the album, it balances it’s jam, chord progression, and cuts.

#4 Sail Away – I love this groovy beat.  It’s a very reflective song, too.  What could have been?  What could be? It has a modulation toward the end that pumps it up.

#3 Silas – I think TSP wrote and arranged this song for me.  I love rock, and this song rocks!  It has some cool dynamics with it’s intro as well.

#2 Tonight – If you want to know the truth, none of the songs on this album have as much soul and feeling as Tonight.  It’s a very moving song.

#1 Time – I could listen to this one on repeat constantly, if it wasn’t for all the other great songs on this album.  The prelude builds and then releases all it’s energy when Time opens.  Great job on this arrangement.

Now, go and buy the album.  It’s going to help save lives, and you will love the music.  You cannot beat that combination!

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Saturday Top 5: Movies Watched in the Last Month

These are the top 5 movies that I have seen over the past month. Some are in the theater and some are out on DVD.

#5. Taken – Liam Neeson is a former special agent whose daughter is kidnapped overseas. This was not a bad movie, but not great either. It’s purely unrealistic action similar to the Bourne series.

#4. Tristan and Isolde – I didn’t even know this movie existed, but I enjoyed it a lot. It’s about the Brits after they became independent from the Roman Empire and their struggles with the oppressive Irish. In many ways it’s a knock off of a Braveheart type film, not quite on that level, but it was pretty good.

#3. Tropic Thunder – How could I put such a ridiculous movie in my top 5? Because of Special Jack. “Mama!”. This movie made me laugh so hard I was seeing stars.

#2. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt star in a love story about a man who ages in reverse. I wasn’t exactly sure how to take this movie, because I am not clear as to what to the point of the movie was. The acting, costumes, and make up was great. It’s unbelievable to see how they can make someone look old or young with a little latex and make up.

#1. A River Runs Through It – This early Brad Pitt movie is about a Montana Presbyterian minister and his family and their love for fly fishing. It’s based on a true story with a few changes to the original story, such as the omission of the 5 McLean sisters. It’s not full of overly hyped drama, action, special effects, or emotional tricks to choke up the viewer. It’s just a story about a good man and his kids who grow up loving to fish, one of them a responsible young man and one who liked to drink and gamble. I can’t believe I waited all these years to watch this amazing film.

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Saturday Top 5: Cartoons

Like almost every kid, I loved Saturday morning cartoons. Times have changed now with cable and satellite. There are now literally hundreds of channels with cartoons playing 24 hours a day somewhere. There is even a network dedicated to cartoons. But they just aren’t the same anymore. We had very special cartoons 25 years ago, and earlier. You don’t have to get up early on Saturday to catch your favorite cartoon. And there are also cartoons that kids like to watch but are not meant for children. Cartoons like Family Guy, The Simpsons, and Ren and Stimpy are vulgar and have no business being watched by little ones with impressionable minds. I digress. It’s funny that when Trav or I show Kourtney and McKenna a cartoon that we watched when we were little, they love it. Yet those types of cartoons are considered useless today because they don’t have tolerance or environmental messages around them, or their comical violence is too much for kids. Well, here are my top 5 favorite cartoons from my childhood. Some of them came from even before my childhood, but were still running or rerunning when I was a youngin.

Honorable Mention:

The Jetsons, The Flintstones, Scooby Doo, GI Joe, The Smurfs (I was just a little guy)

#5. Tom and Jerry – I was confused by this cartoon, because in some episodes they were friends and others they were always trying to kill each other.  Still a great cartoon!

#4. Super Friends – Superman, Batman and Robin, Wonder Woman, and the weirdo Aquaman made up the main characters, but the Wonder Twins and Gleek and many others were also part of the crew who fought against the Legend of Doom.

#3. Transformers – The transformers were so cool! I loved watching new episodes on Saturday’s, and even years after, I loved watching the reruns after school.  After Optimus Prime died, it was still good, but it just wasn’t the same.

#2. Woody Woodpecker – This little smart mouthed bird was always giving someone a hard time, and his laugh is quite annoying.  Droopy, Chilly the Penguin, and that mean walrus made guest appearances.

#1. Looney Tunes – Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam, Elmer Fudd, Tasmanian Devil, Pepe Le Pew, Wyle E. Coyote, the Road Runner, Speedy Gonzalez, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Sylvester, and other characters made this the greatest cartoon ever.  It isn’t even close!  I especially liked Bugs’ sarcastic/confident personality.  He never let anyone get the best of him.  A lot of the humor was over my head as a kid, which was one reason I am sure this was such a great cartoon.  It was funny for kids, but adults got a laugh too.  And there has never been a better show to promote classical music.  Playing in the background of most of the Looney Tune shows was a nice orchestral piece, many times it was actually a well known piece.  I would love to own a set of Looney Tunes cartoons on DVD.  I know it is something I can still watch and get a kick.

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Saturday Top 5: Christian Rock Bands

I grew up in church listening to Christian music. I’ve come to an understanding in life that music cannot become a Christian so a better description would be “music for Christians”. We had some great radio stations in central Florida in the Sarasota, Bradenton/Palmetto, and Tampa area where I lived from the age of birth until I was 11. Specifically, WCIE and Joy FM were great Christian music radio stations with excellent programming and hosts who were well ahead of their time for Christian radio. Even WMCU here in Miami had nothing as far as hosts, programming, and music selection. The music on WMCU was just way too boring and the hosts for many years were not on par with Joy or CIE.

Listening to the great musical selections on the radio, especially the Saturday Top 40 on 91.1 (WCIE) and 88.1 (Joy FM) led me to really love certain Christian rock groups. After our family moved to Homestead in 1986, I carried my interest in Christian rock without an outlet to listen. WMCU was pumping out some seriously boring tunes back then, especially for a young teenager. So I followed some of the big routines in concert and through cassette sales. Even to this day, I enjoy some of that great old Christian rock. These are my favorite 5 Christian Rock bands of my life. If you are wondering why some of the biggest and best Christian routines did not make my list it’s either because I didn’t prefer them, or they were solo routines.

Honorable Mention

Third Day – I love their gritty solid rock and roll sound. The best part is what I have heard about their purpose and lifestyle. They love Jesus.

The Top 5…

#5. White Heart – Their best sound to me was their early to mid 80’s albums which are best compared with Toto.

#4. Mylon (Le Fevre) and Broken Heart – Mylon had the absolute biggest stage and road show in Christian music. This group was greatly responsible for my interest in drums. I can still listen to them today and enjoy it.

#3. Stryper – Dude, people made fun of them because of their big hair, make up, and spandex, but their music did rock! They had one commercially successful crossover tune that was one of the cheesiest rock ballads ever. Honestly. But their first few albums were awesome!

#2. DC Talk – They started out as a corn ball rap group, but developed a sound that actually was way ahead of it’s time. Before Linkin Park was doing the industrial metal rap tunes, DC Talk was. Their concerts were just great. When they split, thousands of fans were heartbroken. But Toby Mac is still around doing his thing which is similar to the later DC Talk stuff.

#1. Petra – This band belongs at the top of anyone’s all time Christian rock list. Through 30 years and two lead singers, they are one incredible band. They’ve gone from folksy rock in their beginnings, to a more credible straight rock sound of the late 70’s to early 80’s, to a synth rock sound of the mid 80’s, into a hair band style of the late 80’s, and then into their hard rock and metal sound that they rocked through the 90’s. I wish I could get my hands on a complete collection of all their tunes over the years on CD or digital media. They are one of a very small handful of Christian rock legends!

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Saturday Top 5: Top 5

These are the top 5 Top 5’s of the past year by page view.

#5 Top 5 Funny Songs
#4 Top 5 Gun Cabinet
#3 Top 5 Rock and Roll Guitar Solos
#2 Top 5 Most Annoying Songs
#1 Top 5 Terriers

I will return with a fresh top 5 next week when my Saturday should be a lot less crazy.

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